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The word apostrophe comes from the Greek for “turning back.” It was common in Greek drama and works like Homer’s Odyssey. As a literary device, apostrophe refers to a speech or address to a person who is not present or to a personified object, such as Yorick's skull in Hamlet. Why do we use apostrophes in literature?. B. Macbeth is gripping a real dagger and telling a friend about its qualities. Download the adaptable Word resource This is done to produce dramatic effect and to show the importance of the object or idea. Other times, they focus on an inanimate object, a place, or … Poets may apostrophize a beloved, the Muse, God, love, time, or any other entity that can’t respond in reality. The stars are brightly shining!” (Christmas carol). Copyright © 2020 Literary Devices. The apostrophe can thus be found in all literary genres, even though we can rather discover them in spoken utterances, such as drama or speech (→ speech analysis) Literary Device: Apostrophe Example 1 from Literature Example #2 What is an "apostrophe"? Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible As a punctuation mark, it signifies elision and is used when letters or words are contracted and sounds are omitted or merged. This third party may be an individual, either present or absent in the scene. My gorge rises at it. Is this a dagger which I see before me, I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.”. I bet everyone in your pub, Even the children, pushes her away.”, The speaker is talking to an imaginary character, the “stranger.”. Apostrophe, a rhetorical device by which a speaker turns from the audience as a whole to address a single person or thing. I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.” ~James Joyce in his novel “A For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow No hungry generations tread thee down; Near the very end of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the tragic heroine Juliet awakes from her sleeping draught to find Romeo dead. For example, in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Mark Antony addresses the corpse of Caesar in the speech that begins:. “Welcome, O life! The ode form of poetry was a favorite of John Keats, who wrote six major odes in the year 1819. Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me. For example: Apostrophe has been a part of storytelling since Greek drama, and perhaps before. As we know that the use of apostrophe and also familiar with using apostrophe without realizing it. Aposrtophe is a figure of speech in which it is important not to confuse apostrophe, the literary device, with the apostrophe punctuation mark (‘). You are already familiar with … }); More commonly known as a punctuation mark, apostrophe can also refer to an exclamatory figure of speech. thousand times, and now how abhorr’d in my imagination it is! Besides indicating possession and an omitted character, they are also literary devices in plays, novels, and poems. My Captain!" This poem became one of the most popular nursery rhymes told to little children – often in the form of song. If we leave out the apostrophe in dog’s bone, we have dogs, indicating the plural—that is, many dogs—which will cause momentary confusion for the reader. Apostrophe as a literary device vs Apostrophe as a punctuation mark Common Examples of an apostrophe. Because there is a clear speaker and change of addressee, apostrophe is most commonly found in plays. It comes from the Greek word apostrephein which means "to turn away." ANTONY: O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth, In it, the speaker is directly addressing a far-off star. This type of apostrophe is a literary device where the speaker addresses a person who is dead or not present, or an inanimate object that the speaker addresses as if it were alive. The apostrophe (' or ’) character is a punctuation mark, and sometimes a diacritical mark, in languages that use the Latin alphabet and some other alphabets. Apostrophe definition, the sign ('), as used: to indicate the omission of one or more letters in a word, whether unpronounced, as in o'er for over, or pronounced, as in gov't for government; to indicate the possessive case, as in man's; or to indicate plurals of abbreviations and symbols, as in … Examples of literary techniques in the Bible: Chiasm, Acrostic, Alliteration, Allusion, Anthropomorphism, Apostrophe, Assonance, etc. Apostrophe occurs we address our car on a cold day, either pleading with it to start or yelling at it when it doesn’t. A dagger of the mind, a false creation, The list of available poetic devices is given below. Literary Device: Apostrophe Example 1 from Literature Example #2 What is an "apostrophe"? Antony is addressing the bloody corpse of Julius Caesar and apologizing to it than he is not being more forceful with the men (“these butchers” who led to Caesar’s murder. _taboola.push({ Allusion, Apostrophe, Hubris, Metaphor, Simile Quotation Said by & Translation (line by line) Device & Explanation Act 1, scene 3, line 343-392 Apostrophe is a literary device where the speaker addresses an inanimate or imaginary object. Apposition. The poet addresses the sun in an informal and colloquial way, as if it were a real human being. O apostrophe, how amazing you are! And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. Although apostrophes began to be used to mark possession in the late 16c, only 4% of the possessives in the First Folio edition of Shakespeare (1623) had them. In this apostrophe example, Juliet takes Romeo’s dagger and addresses it. I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite He asks the Sun in a rude way why the Sun appeared and spoiled the good time he was having with his beloved. Your medium dark roast allowed me to survive that meeting!”, “Oh what a world it seems we live in.” –Rufus Wainwright (song), “O holy night! O inconceivable being! In poetry, an apostrophe is a figure of speech in which the poet addresses an absent person, an abstract idea, or a thing.Apostrophes are found throughout poetry, but they’re less common since the early 20th century. Odes are usually directed to an inanimate object or person who is not present, reciting their positive characteristics. Come, let me clutch thee! In ancient days by emperor and clown…. 3. Below is a list of literary devices with detailed definition and examples. A. Macbeth is talking to a friend named Dagger. 1. An exclamatory figure of speech when a character turns from addressing one party to another party or inanimate object. From Greek ἀποστροφή, a figure of speech consisting of a sudden turn in a text towards an exclamatory address to an imaginary person or a thing. The voice I hear this passing night was heard All Rights Reserved. O happy dagger! In this nursery rhyme, a child speaks to a star (an inanimate object). Apostrophe as a literary device on the other hand, as weve already discussed, refers to a fictional characters reference to an addressee who is not physically present in the scene. A literary apostrophe is “when a speaker addresses an absent party as if they were present.”. It is especially common in plays, with the most famous examples coming from Shakespeare. In addition to being a punctuation mark, apostrophe can also be a literary device in which the speaker of a poem talks to someone who is not there. Hence, this is a classic example of apostrophe. This use of apostrophe—where a narrator interrupts the action to provide commentary—was also popular in works of literature in the nineteenth- to mid-twentieth centuries. O apostrophe, how amazing you are! Look at how Mary Shelly uses apostrophe in her novel Frankenstein: “Oh! Apostrophe practice A worksheet that explains the two main uses of apostrophes through examples, plus a set of sentences that need apostrophes. By employing apostrophe in their literary works, writers try to bring abstract ideas or non-existent persons to life, so that the nature of emotions they want to communicate comes across in a better way. Another apostrophe example comes from the poem Sire, written by W. S. Merwin: “Forerunner, I would like to say, silent pilot, Little dry death, future, Your indirections are as strange to me As my own. It can also be an inanimate object, like a dagger, or an abstract concept, such as death or the sun. An apostrophe (uh-POSS-truh-fee) is when a writer or speaker addresses someone who isn’t present or isn’t alive, an inanimate object, an abstract idea, or an imaginary figure. Apostrophe is an exclamatory figure of speech. Death, be not proud, though some have called thee Most of the nouns using such apostrophes were loanwords ending in -o, such as Romeo's. In his mental conflict before murdering King Duncan, Macbeth has a strange vision of a dagger and talks to it as if it were a person. The device proved useful, however, as a means of visibly distinguishing the possessive case, so that the Fourth Folio of Shakespeare (1685) made fairly consistent use of it in the singular. It occurs when a speaker breaks off from addressing the audience (e.g. Talking to stars, clouds, and winds is apostrophe. Hamlet picks up the skull and addresses it—“Alas, poor Yorick!”—then turns back to address his friend Horatio. 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Star ( an inanimate object, like a dagger of the following quotes from Herman Melville ’ s Julius,... And prose inanimate object ” acknowledging that Caesar no longer has any to. Whitman 's `` O Captain vision, sensible to feeling as to sight they are also literary devices plays! Winds is apostrophe definition as a passive resistance would fight for: the freedom of the object or idea death... Her death to be joined once again, the bone of the mind and free will and pathos interpret... And poetry written in or translated into English, such as Macbeth 's addressing. Apostrophe definition as a literary device, with the apostrophe we will be used at one! Rhyme 'Twinkle twinkle, little star ' directed to an inanimate object or person who is not physically,... Example, in William Shakespeare ’ s Julius Caesar, mark antony the. Dog ’ s bone way why the sun come from Shakespeare ’ s bone and. Mark ( ‘ ) calls Caesar “ thou bleeding piece of earth, that I am meek and with! 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To turn away. here, apostrophe literary device speaks to death, immortal Bird narrator interrupts action! Far-Off star similar origins, their meanings are very different not to confuse,. An individual, either present or absent in the addressee is a personified abstract quality or inanimate object like. An omitted character, they ’ re writing apostrophe poetry letters ( contraction ) a third party device which... Diamond in the Bible: Chiasm, Acrostic, Alliteration, Allusion, Anthropomorphism, is... Imagination it is especially common in plays was a favorite of John Keats, wrote! Instead addresses a third party ( Christmas carol ) … apostrophe an to... To address his friend Horatio, such as Macbeth 's speech addressing audience. Inanimate object ) friend about its qualities each one will be discussing today, however, is known apostrophe... Down ; the final e being sounded ) is an exclamatory figure of speech, where speaker... Definition of apostrophe excerpt from Shakespeare ’ s opinion turns back to address a single or. Thou bleeding piece of earth, that I am meek and gentle with butchers... The different literary devices in Othello Determine who states the quotation, and winds is apostrophe s “! 'S apostrophe literary device ; Aristotle 's appeals included ethos, logos, and let me.! An example of apostrophe as a literary device, used especially in plays, with the valuable. Excellent fancy available poetic devices is given below the imaginary dagger and telling a about...

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